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7/01/2005

 
BET AWARDS '05 Shatters All-Time Viewership Mark

Salute to Greatness Becomes Most-Watched Show in BET's 25-Year History; Kanye West, Ciara, Alicia Keys and John Legend Lead List of Winners

LOS ANGELES, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- It was a night like no other at the 2005 BET AWARDS as the network's annual salute to superlative performances in music, entertainment and sports lit up the Hollywood skyline and the Kodak Theatre on Tuesday. Fans responded accordingly by making that premiere showing BET's most-watched telecast in the network's history with 6.6 million viewers (5.1 rating, 4.1 million households) watching the three-and-a-half- hour program according to Nielsen Media Research. Now in its fifth year, the '05 BET AWARDS will have encore showings on July 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT and July 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The 2005 viewership numbers marked a double-digit increase for the BET AWARDS telecast across all metered categories. Total viewers increased a whopping 16% versus the 5.7 million from 2004; households jumped 12% compared to 3.6 million; and the overall rating climbed 11% against the 4.6 generated in '04. BET again teamed with Cossette Productions, famed producers of the GRAMMY Awards(R) and the four previous record-setting BET AWARDS shows, to handle production of the telecast.

The BET AWARDS post-show THE AFTERSHOCK, hosted by BET News anchor Jacque Reid and Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier, maximized momentum from the awards telecast, too, grabbing 3.4 million viewers (2.36 rating, 2.1 million households). It's now the most-watched BET AWARDS Post-Show ever, increasing its audience by 9% over 2004.

Rapper/producer impresario Kanye West was the evening's big winner, grabbing awards for Best Male Hip Hop Artist and for Video of the Year for his spiritual composition "Jesus Walks." First-time BET AWARDS nominees Ciara and John Legend each walked away with trophies, as Ciara won for Best Collaboration for her tandem with rapper Missy Elliott on "1, 2 Step," and Legend scored as Best New Artist. Multi-platinum songstress Alicia Keys took home her first BET Award as well, being crowned Best Female R&B Artist. BET also used the star-studded night to honor music legend Gladys Knight with the network's Lifetime Achievement Award, and Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta with the BET Humanitarian Award.

Former B2k phenom Omarion won the coveted Viewers' Choice Award, voted on prior to and in real time on the BET.com website throughout the telecast. This was also the first year that viewers could vote via major wireless carriers. A total of 805,479 votes were cast in the hotly-contested category.

BET's big night exploded with amazing performances and special salutes as Hollywood power couple Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith served as hosts for the first time. Bringing the audience to its feet from the beginning was a surprise reunion of Lauren Hill and the Fugees with a killer performance of their old school hits including "Ready or Not" and "Killing Me Softly." Other performers included living legend Stevie Wonder, smoking hot "Dirty South" rapper T.I. along with superstars Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child, Toni Braxton, Ludacris, Faith Evans, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Mike Jones, Fantasia, Tye Tribbett and The Game in an "off the meter" throw-down that rocked the house and the thousands fortunate enough to have a seat for BET's biggest show of the year. A sparkling list of Hollywood's celebrity A-List also joined the show as presenters, including Halle Berry, Tom Cruise, Queen Latifah, Steve Harvey and Vivica A. Fox.

The night included solemn moments, too, as BET paid memorial tributes to actor Ossie Davis, attorney Johnnie Cochran, singer Rick James and rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, all of whom died since last year's BET AWARDS show.

The following is a list of all winners from the 2005 BET AWARDS:

Best Female R&B Artist Best Male R&B Artist
Alicia Keys Usher

Best Group Best Collaboration
Destiny's Child Ciara featuring Missy Elliott
("1, 2 Step")

Best Female Hip Hop Artist Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Remy Martin Kanye West

Best New Artist Best Gospel Artist
John Legend Donnie McClurkin

Best Actress Best Actor
Regina King Jamie Foxx

Female Athlete of the Year Male Athlete of the Year
Serena Williams (Tennis) Shaquille O'Neal (Basketball)

Video of the Year Viewers' Choice Award
Kanye West ("Jesus Walks") Omarion ("O")

ABOUT BET

BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA; VIA.B), is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 80 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded businesses: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks -- BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in a full range of event production services, including event management, venue selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance novels under the Arabesque imprint which also publishes compelling fiction under the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New Spirit imprint.

Visit us @ http://www.bet.com/

Source: BET (Black Entertainment Television)

CONTACT: Michael Lewellen, +1-202-608-2003, michael.lewellen@bet.net, or
Tosha Whitten-Griggs, +1-818-655-6712, tosha.whitten-griggs@bet.net, both of
BET

Web site: http://www.bet.com/




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